MentorNet #82

Copyright © 2011 by Galen Currah, George Patterson and Edward Aw
May be freely copied, translated, distributed and sole

To keep churches or cell groups multiplying requires a continual effort to train new workers, on the job, at six levels or phases. You who serve as a mentor to leaders of church planting movements must be able to advise them on each phase, model training methods, and help provide appropriate materials.

Jesus’ parable about four kinds of soil reminds us that all do not respond in the same way to the gospel. MentorNet recommends the newly-published book, T4T: A Discipleship Revolution (, which observes that about one in five whom you train, at each level, will carry through and implement their learning. Most multiplication will occur through new believers, new disciples, new churches, and new leaders, making the training task an unending one of following up with those who prove willing learners and active implementers.

1.  Train every believer to share the Good News, e.g., Luke 24:44-49; Acts 10:36-43

Every new and old believer must be able to tell the original, apostolic Good News story about Jesus. Provide believers with a set of six or eight Bible stories that they can tell others, since most folk come to faith in Jesus only after hearing the Good News several times. Plan and pray with them. Have them indicate to whom they will tell the stories, where and when. Practice with them how to tell the story and how to invite hearers to start following Jesus. About one in five whom you train in this way will do so.

2.  Train every obedient believer to make disciples, e.g., Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:36-47; John 15:14

Every new and old believer who tells the Good News to others must be ready to help their hearers take their first steps in following Jesus. Help them do so by training them in how to love Jesus by obeying his basic commandments, in culturally sensitive ways that they can help seekers and new believers follow in their own households. Provide trainees with a set of, say, seven short lessons corresponding to seven or eight commandments from Jesus. Plan and pray with trainees. Practice with them how they will obey Jesus and will help others to do so, in turn.

3. Train every disciple to plant new, little churches, e.g., Matt. 18:18-20; Acts 14:21-23

Authorize every new and old believer to share the good news, to make disciples and to start new, little churches with any who respond with faith and obedience to Jesus. Train all believers in how to start, lead and develop such new churches in ways that all will be able imitate and help others to do, in turn.  Newly-converted heads of families should begin at once to shepherd their families. Doing so, with help of an alert mentor, can result in a new home church. A big church can train many old believers who lead home groups and campus cell groups. During training courses and workshop, have learners form temporary little churches in which they practice their lessons, pray, make plans and experience the real presence of Jesus in their midst. See

4. Train every church planter to develop healthy churches, e.g., Acts 2:42-44; Titus 1:5-9

A new church is not “fully planted” until it is obeying all that Jesus and his apostles commanded churches to practice. Such ‘healthy’ churches are most likely to reproduce. Work out with your mentees and apprentices a set of practices that you agree are signs of a healthy church. Then introduce those practices into your training and into all new churches, and review often with trainers and church leaders ways in which they show their signs of health. An acrostic might help remember these.

CChrist’s Good News. The original, apostolic gospel is shared often with outsiders.

H Healthy body life. Gatherings include lots of interaction, dialogue and compassion.

U Urgent prayer. Believers pray often for all kinds of needs, including outreach.

R Read and obey Scripture. Believers discover from the Bible what to believe and practice.

C Communion often. Leaders keep the Lord’s Supper at the centre of worship.

HHoly Spirit. Believers serve one another by the Spirit’s gifts, in gatherings and in outreach.

Perhaps work up a set of hand motions to teach these health indicators within every new church, cell and home group.

5.  Train every church leader to reproduce churches, e.g., Luke 10:1-9; Acts  13:1-3

Prepare a handbook that includes reproducible lessons on these six training phases. Introduce these lessons in workshops for all new leaders of new churches. Review these lessons during mentoring sessions with very small groups of new leaders, and let them discuss together ways in which they can implement them in their churches and cell groups. Include some ways in which each one can track his churches’ progress, growth and reproduction. In every training and mentoring session, listen to those reports and compile verifiable results. Those reports will prove very valuable in prayer, visioning, planning, training and evaluation.

6. Train every church leader elder to train others, in turn, e.g., Col. 4:12-18; 2 Tim. 2:1-2

Every reproductive and multiplicative movement provides on-going training for generations of new workers and leaders. Classic, educational institutions can seldom graduate enough new leaders to keep up with the needs of new churches, nor do so in a timely manner. Thus, most movements will provide two training tracks: one for leadership in big, urban congregations, and another for a continual multiplication of new churches of new believers in both urban and rural settings. MentorNet advocates for use of menu-driven curricula by which current leaders of new churches can mentor or coach other new leaders. See #7, “The Value of Menu-Assisted Mentoring”.

Every apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher who will incorporate training into one’s current ministry, will be able to multiply one’s own ministry through others. Although, one may have to work a little more for a few weeks or months to train up apprentice workers, over time one will reduce one’s own work load as others take up much of the work to be done. Thus, more experienced workers will find their own work load lightened while seeing their efforts bear increasing fruit through others.